Friday, October 31, 2014



     As  her Head Jesus Christ was surrounded by those who loved and honored Him and those who hated and despised Him, so His Body the Church is surrounded by those who love and honor her and by those who hate and despise her.  Among the latter are the enemies within. These enemies are much more dangerous to people than external enemies for they confuse the true faith and muddle the true Faith, seeking if it were possible to destroy the Church once and for all. We know they will not succeed but will make strong attempts.

      In modern times, since the early 1900's. we have had patriarchs who were enemies within the Church.  During the period of upheaval in Greece, between the royalists and the Venuzelists, a stranger to Orthodoxy and truth,  Meletios Metaxakis from Crete and relative of Venuzelis became archbishop of Athens and later when the political climate changed, he was deposed from that position.

     In July of 1935, after six days in the throes of death,  Meletios died, being one of the most scandalous bishops in the history of the Church. He attempted to change the  traditions of the Church, such as changing feast days to fall on Sundays, do away with fasting days, allow married priests who became widowers to remarry; eliminate celibacy requirements, thus establishing a married episcopate, a common date for Pascha, and the adoption of the new calendar.  While still Archbishop of Athens, Metaxakis with others went to England to seeking unity of Orthodoxy with the Anglican Church. However Orthodoxy will not unite with any other group for she is the Church, but she welcomes those outside to be baptized and come inside, if they desire salvation and eternal life.

     In 1921 Metaxakis after being vested took part in an Anglican Service, bowed with the Anglicans in prayer, kissed their altar, preached and later blessed those who were present.   He also recognized the validity of Anglican orders, being a scoundrel, he left nothing holy  untouched. His countless  actions were anti-Orthodox, forbidden by the Church and the sacred Canons as well as by Holy Scripture. Such actions are treated by the Church with deposition of the guilty cleric.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014



     Joyful life in Christ begins when we are attracted and become interested in our faith to try to  follow Christ in His Church, keeping the four fasts of the year and Wednesdays and Fridays, and strive to keep all His commandments. Prayer life begins when, using a prayer book, we  offer morning and evening prayers, prayers before Holy Communion and prayers of thanksgiving after Holy Communion. These are a few of the activities which will make a wonderful change in our lives. They are usually accompanied by a distinct change in our attitude, such as less talking and more listening, watching our language speaking only worthwhile things without oaths or swearing. The Lord himself will teach you things if your intentions are sincere, for  He seeks to unite with us and desires that we unite with Him. For He is our Creator, the author of our lives and it is to Him that we owe faithfulness, honor and glory forever.

    The difference of life without Christ and life in Christ are like  light and darkness, like happiness and misery, and being filled with the resultant hope causes  despondency and misery to disappear from our lives. Truly this present world offers nothing but some pleasures, some joys, difficulties and sorrows,  suffering and eventual death.  But life in Christ is truly Paradise, for we are living and enjoying His kingdom in this present world.  Our true  faith which is always followed by fervent hope which heralds the most important virtue of all which is love.  We offer our sincere belief to God and He requites this by increasing our faith, This is utterly delightful and fills our hearts with hope, the hope is for everlasting life and true happiness. Then realizing all that He has given to us we begin to develop feelings of love for Him, especially because He is God our Creator, He is good and compassionate, and the Lover of man, and alone is worthy of our fervent love.

     If we wake up at night, let the very first thing we ought to do is make the sign of the Cross to raise our minds and hearts to Christ our beloved in the middle of the night. When we begin a task it is good to begin with the sign of the Cross. If we drive or ride in an automobile, as soon as we sit in the seat, our first action should be to make the sign of the Cross, the same upon arrival back from a trip. Every time possible our souls must ascend to Christ. And this will start to arouse great joy in our hearts, soothing us with calm and peace which are invaluable to the welfare of man.

      If we struggle to live this type of life, gradually we will feel its effects by a pleasant calmness and sweetness that only can come from Christ. In addition, we especially worship Him in Church at the Divine Liturgy, preparation for this being of utmost necessity. That is why  there are prayers before Holy Communion for the night before the Liturgy, and prayers for preparation on the morning of the Divine Liturgy. Standing in Church we stand before our Creator and God, who extends mercy and love to all who sincerely call upon Him in faith. He is not far but is present everywhere and awaits all those who call upon Him. Angels and heavenly beings attend Divine Liturgy with us even though they are not visible.

Struggling to live a Christian life causes many changes to take place within us, among them is the joy that only thinking of Him and loving Him  can bring, then the even greater joy of partaking of God Himself in Holy Communion/, where we are assured that He has entered our bodies and souls. Also, we must often reflect on the fact that we are sinners and that Christ came into the world to save sinners like ourselves. Turning away from sin is possible when we have Christ within us.  He has conquered the evil one who assaults us seeking only our destruction. But Christ has defeated Him and as long as we remain faithful He will never conquer our souls but will retreat in shame before the Conqueror who vanquished him..

     As we advance in prayer, church attendance, and life in fear of God, then faith, hope and love will fill us with divine thoughts?  As we increase in the kingdom of God , the kingdom of this world will diminish, and everything will change dramatically. For the world and its turmoil are replaced with continuous peace accompanied by joy which knows no bounds, joy such as the world can never know, for our hearts will overflow in divine joy. Upon awakening each day by making the sign of the Cross and entering into another day of struggle and happiness experienced in the kingdom. If we confess Him before men, He will confess us before His Father in heaven. Christ is our Bridegroom and awaits our repentance and return to Him, which must take place during this life, for when we leave this world, we can take no material with us, but only our faithful or unfaithful souls. 

   This article, The Joy of Orthodox Life in Christ is meant to be introductory, not all inclusive.   We ought to strive to read the Bible every day, for God speaks to us in the Bible, which is filled with His Spirit and divine grace.  We need to remember that In prayer we speak to God and make requests from Him, but in reading the Bible we listen to Him and learn from Hm with every word we read. His authority, power, justice, compassion, and great mercy is shown in the pages of Holy Scripture.